03 Aug What are COVID-19 STAGE 4 restrictions and how can Queensland avoid them?
Surging COVID-19 numbers in Victoria have led to Melbourne moving to Stage 4 restrictions, with other states and territories in Australia watching closely.
As the number of cases surged to 11,557 in Victoria, the state was left with little choice but to ramp up restrictions in a bid to halt the number of infections and ensure the health care system was not overwhelmed – which would lead to unnecessary deaths.
The big difference between Stage 4 restrictions and previous tiers is that the state has now changed its tactics entirely. While previously it was looking to contain outbreaks or hot spots of COVID-19, it has now reached the point where near-total lockdown is required in a bid to eliminate the virus entirely.
And with New South Wales experiencing flare-ups of the virus across the Greater Sydney Region and Queensland residents nervously awaiting the consequences of two infected Brisbane women who lied to cross the border, all eyes will be on Victoria and how the state can manage the current state of Coronavirus.
What are Stage 4 restrictions?
The Federal Government has not released the specifics of each level of response to COVID-19, but the announcement by Victorian Premier Dan Andrews on Sunday, August 2 that his state would move to a State of Disaster and that Melbourne would move to Stage 4 restrictions provided plenty of clarity.
Here is what Melburnians currently face until at least September 13:
- A curfew from 8 pm to 5 am with the only exemptions being work, medical care and caregiving
- Masks and/or face coverings are compulsory
- The Night Network public transport network will be suspended
- You can only leave your home for work, shopping, exercise, medical care, caregiving and compassionate reasons
- You can only exercise one hour per day and only on your own (children excepted)
- You cannot travel more than 5km from your home for exercise or shopping
- All TAFE and university study must be done remotely
- Schools will return to remote and flexible learning
There will also be widespread closures of non-essential businesses which means no more bars, no more restaurants and no more cafes – which Melbourne is well known for.
And there will be more announcements to come over the ensuing weeks to ensure everything is done to eliminate the threat of COVID-19 from Melbourne and regional Victoria, which has moved to Stage 3 Restrictions.
“All the temporary sacrifices we make now – all the time missed with mates, those delayed visits to mum – those sacrifices will help keep our mates and our mums and our fellow Victorians safe,” Premier Andrews said.
“We can – we will – get through this. Apart. But together.”
How New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 with Stage 4 Restrictions
New Zealand enjoyed 24 consecutive days of no-COVID-19 infections between May and June which was largely credited to the country’s hardline stance against the virus from the get-go.
While other countries moved to contain COVID-19, New Zealand acted immediately to eliminate the virus with extreme lockdown measures. While their government is different to Australia, their Stage 4 restrictions included the same measures Victoria is employing as well as:
- Rationing of food
- Requisitioning of facilities and;
- A major reprioritisation of healthcare services
This move saw cases plummet and there were only two active cases (in quarantine) on August 2 and New Zealand had only seen a total of 1565 cases that included 22 deaths.
How you can keep your business open in Queensland without running the risk of COVID-19 infections
Site Pandemic Response (SPR) was developed and released by Brisbane company Ionyx earlier in 2020 as the virus began to grip the entire world.
This was not a money-making exercise, with the app distributed for free downloads for Queensland businesses (up to 50 licences) and not-for-profit organisations (unlimited licences).
SPR is a simple to use health check app that allows any business to quickly screen staff, contractors, customers and visitors before they enter a job site. If any red flags are raised from these questionnaires (like cold and flu symptoms or recent travel) then management is alerted instantly to these people can be denied access to the job site and sent for testing and quarantine measures.
Contractors, tradespeople, medical service providers, delivery services and anyone who needs to access private premises can also use SPR to ensure they are not walking into a potentially harmful environment.